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Equilibrium's finance and investment news roundup

This week, our finance and investment news roundup includes reports of UK service businesses becoming less optimistic, debt worries and saving difficulties for young people, and a new record high for ISA savings. 


UK service business leaders becoming more pessimistic 

UK service businesses are less optimistic, with employers still unsure about what Brexit will eventually mean for them. This is according to new findings from the Confederation of British Industry, which showed that investment plans among these companies are at their lowest for four years.

The report found that while there was little change in the pace of growth in the three months to August, expansion plans had fallen to their weakest level since May 2012.

Anna Leach, Head of Economic Analysis and Surveys at the CBI, said: "Looking ahead, the service sector faces a challenging environment in which to grow and invest, with uncertainty about demand weighing on firms' minds." 

Survey: Debt worries 'a heavy burden' for young people

Many young people are concerned about the state of their finances, new research has found. The survey carried out by YouGov for the Money Advice Trust revealed that more than one-third of 18 to 24-year-olds have debts of almost £3,000 and are worried about their ability to pay this back.

It was shown that young people are borrowing money through various means, including overdrafts, credit cards and loans from either family or friends. While more than half of those surveyed said they regularly worry about money, almost one-third (32%) said concerns about their finances were a heavy burden.

Joanna Elson, Chief Executive of the Money Advice Trust, commented: "With many young people beginning to build up debts soon after they turn 18, we have a real battle on our hands as a society to make sure they receive the support they need." 

18 to 35-year-olds 'struggling to save'

Low wages and daily financial pressures are making it increasingly difficult for young people to save, the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association has suggested. New research from the association found that while many people aged 18 to 35 are keen to save, factors such as the high cost of living are making it difficult to do so.

The research found that around one-third of people in this age bracket are looking to save 'for a rainy day', while around one-third are saving for a one-off spend, such as a holiday or car.

The association's Chief Executive Joanne Segars said: "It is not surprising that without help, this group prioritises short-term over long-term saving, given the current rock-bottom interest rates and low wage increases." 

HMRC: ISA savings reach new highs

People are making increasing use of individual savings accounts (ISAs), new figures have indicated. According to the findings from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), savers placed an average of £6,338 into ISAs in the last financial year, a record high and representing a climb of 5% on the previous year.

In the 12 months to April, a record total of £80 billion was put in ISAs. It was shown that people in the South East of England are the most likely to use ISAs, and those in Northern Ireland are the least likely.